The cycling world waits with bated breath as the eight stages of 2017’s Tour of Britain are set and ready to go. If, like us, you know full well that by the end of the first day watching won’t be enough, that the anticipation of it all mixed with your own biking ambition will lift you from your seat and have you squeezing into your lycra and pumping up your tyres to be just like them, don’t worry, we have a few training tips for you.
Tour of Britain 2017 Route
This year’s 1,310km route is bookended by the Capitals Edinburgh and Cardiff. Beginning on Sunday 3 September and coming to an end the following Sunday, this year’s tour will take those competing through parts of the UK that the race has never been before. London fans, sorry, but this year the tour will skip the English capital altogether. The tour will take place as follows, so keep these dates in your diary:
Sunday 3 September: Edinburgh to Kelso
Monday 4 September: Kielder Water and Forest Park to Blyth
Tuesday 5 September: Normanby Hall Country Park to Scunthorpe
Wednesday 6 September: Mansfield to Newark-on-Trent
Thursday 7 September: The Tendring Stage Individual Time Trial
Friday 8 September: Newmarket to Aldeburgh
Saturday 9 September: Hemel Hempstead to Cheltenham
Sunday 10 September: Worcester to Cardiff
If you’re really keen you’ll be watching this year’s Tour of Britain on a screen while on your cycling machine. Or your armchair, or the pub, but it’s all the same, right? Wherever you’re watching from this year, we’re betting that by halfway through you’ll be desperate to get involved, that you’ll be wondering aloud why you’ve not had your bike out in a while. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when training.
Train With A Group
This is a good way (and a safe way) to get used to riding among others to imitate racing conditions, and also means you won’t be going it alone on country roads. As you progress from one training session to the next, you can gauge your development by using the group as a kind of pacemaker so that you don’t get ahead of yourself (and not last the ride) and don’t go too easy.
It might sound like an obvious one, but overeating will do you no favors. Still, you need your energy and to stay hydrated on a long ride. Drink water regularly, but not so much that you feel sluggish. For fuel, think in terms of what digests easily and what you need. You need protein and bite-sized carbs for a hit of sugar when you need it. Many pros use gel forms, including caffeine gels for the last stretch when a boost is really needed.
Save Your Energy For Effort At The End
It’s a common mistake to use your energy resources in bursts throughout your journey. This high-intensity interval approach is great for burning calories in the gym but won’t see you reach the finish line as efficiently as you potentially could. Save some fuel in your tank for the sprint finish instead of going as fast as you can at the start or using up too much energy when you fall off the pace.
Keep A Steady Pace
You can ensure the latter by not going too hard. It’s easy to rush when racing, even if you’re only in competition with yourself. While this might result in a fast start, you might find you’re spent and have nothing to sustain the remainder of the ride.